North Sea's Kvitebjorn, Visund Fields Back On Line after Pipeline Repairs

The Kvitebjorn-platform
(Click to Enlarge)

Kvitebjorn Platform
(Click to Enlarge)

Gas exports from the Kvitebjorn field in the North Sea started Jan. 27, after successful repairs to the rich gas pipeline between the platform and the Kollsnes processing plant near Bergen.

The repair work has gone according to plan and the subsequent testing has shown that the pipeline is now ready for use. The Kvitebjorn platform could therefore resume production of gas and condensate on Jan. 27.

The Visund field, which uses the same pipeline, has also resumed gas exports.

Shut Down Since August

Kvitebjorn has been shut down since August 20, 2008 when a gas leak was discovered during a routine inspection of the pipeline.

The leak arose in the part of the pipeline that was damaged by a ship's anchor in the autumn of 2007. The fracture spot lies at a depth of 210 meters, about 10 kilometers from the platform.

Demanding Subsea Operation

The pipeline was repaired by inserting a new section of pipe in the damaged area and connecting it to the pipeline with the help of two Morgrip pipe connectors which seal the coupling.

"This is the first time a pipeline has been repaired in such deep water by a remotely controlled operation," said Ronny Larsen, vice president for Kvitebjorn operations.

Favorable weather conditions in November and December helped the installation work to proceed without any major obstacles.

Experience from the Kvitebjorn repair job will be carried forward in the general emergency response work on the Norwegian continental shelf and will serve as an important knowledge base for future pipeline repairs.

Facts about Kvitebjorn

  • The Kvitebjorn field lies in block 34/11, east of the Gullfaks field in the North Sea
  • Kvitebjorn has been developed with a fully-integrated fixed steel platform carrying drilling and process systems as well as living quarters.
  • Gas deliveries from the field started on October 1, 2004.
  • Rich gas and condensate from the field is sent in pipelines to Kollsnes and Mongstad, both near Bergen, respectively.
  • Dry gas is sent through the transport network to continental Europe, while the liquids go to the Vestprosess facility at Mongstad for processing into butane, propane and naphtha.
  • The condensate is transported through the Kvitebjorn oil pipeline via Troll Oil Pipeline II to Mongstad.
  • According to current plans for the field, some 55 billion cubic meters of gas and 22 million cubic meters of condensate are expected to be produced from Kvitebjorn.

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